Synopsis Blues

rsz_end_of_rainbowHow in the world do you describe a 102,000 thousand-word novel in less than 500 words? It?s the hardest thing in the world for me to do. Since The River Keeper is my fourth novel, I?ve written three other synopses, but for some reason I can?t seem to ?hit the mark? as my editor says on this one. I thought if I drafted a post about writing a synopsis then I might learn something from myself.


By the way, a synopsis can be anywhere from one page to twenty-five pages long. These guidelines are for a one-page synopsis, which I?ve found is what most agents and publishers ask for:


1)??? First, always write your synopsis in present tense. Hook your reader at the very beginning. You?ve got to set the bait and reel your reader in quickly or you?ll lose them. When I pick up a book and flip it over to read about it those first few sentences have to catch my attention. If they don?t then I put it back on the shelf and move on. Draw your reader in with describing words and phrases. Those initial sentences are very important. They set the mood of the book.

2)??? Part two should focus on your main character. Tell what their crisis or predicament is. Introduce other important characters here also and how they fit into the main character?s conflict. No need to tell us what color of hair and eyes they have here. You?re still trying to hook the reader. We need to know about the guts of the story, you can fill in all the fluff in the actual book. You may need to use a couple of paragraphs here.

3)??? Part three should introduce the reader to the book itself. You will probably use several paragraphs here, but remember to limit your synopsis to one page. Reveal the plot in this section. Zero in on the content. Outline the facts in chronological order. These paragraphs should cover the essential points of the novel from beginning to end. And, you must tell how the conflict is resolved. An agent or publisher wants to feel the action and know how the crisis is dealt with.

4)??? ?Now that your synopsis is written it?s your chance to make it shine. Polish it until it blazes with excitement. Make every word count using plenty of adjectives and action beats. Leave your reader wanting more and you will have hooked your prize!


Sounds simple doesn?t it? The truth of the matter is the synopsis is much harder to write than the actual novel. But, difficult or not I must finish The River Keeper?s synopsis, and then on to draft a query letter. A writer?s work is like a rainbow; there is no end to it. Happy querying.



FYI: In my blog posted May 22, 2013 titled, Vacations Are Too Much Work I was very perturbed because a resort hotel in Miami would not honor a reservation that we had made two months prior. After several emails back and forth with my travel agent, the third party agency that actually made the reservation agreed to give my sister and myself credit for the one night that landed us in a ramshackled Days Inn. In my opinion that was the least they could do. When you?ve been wronged don?t set back and accept it. Sometimes a girls just got to take a stand!


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